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Tonal music is music that has a particular key center, or home note. Not all music is tonal, but most is, worldwide. The key note is at the center of the lattice of fifths and thirds. All other notes are generated from this one. I call it the 1. It’s also called the tonic. When we say…

Harmonic Space

Now to relate all this to the lattice in the video. Listening to music is like going on a journey. Most tonal music starts by establishing a center, or basic note, and a basic harmonic framework for the song, such as a major or minor mode. A few melody notes, and a beginning chord, and…


The Tonic

The heart of the lattice is the note called 1. This note is the tonic. Almost all the music you hear — pop, rock, classical — has one note that is at the center, a master note against which all other notes are measured. That note is the tonic. It’s the Do of Do Re Mi….


Notes and Intervals

A note, in music, is a sound with a particular pitch. Pitch is frequency, measured in cycles per second, or Hertz (Hz). The faster the vibration, the higher the pitch. A vibration, at, say, 220 Hz, all by itself is a note by that general definition. But the note doesn’t acquire its distinct personality until it’s…